South Africa Academic Year 2024 Begins Here

The South African academic year for 2024 has already begun, with the first day of school for public schools being Wednesday, January 17, 2024. This applies to the majority of schools, though some private institutions may have slightly different starting dates.

There are some key differences compared to previous years, to make up for lost learning time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a summary of what to expect:

Table of Contents

South Africa School Calendar

Start and End Dates: The 2024 public school calendar starts on 17 January 2024 and ends on 11 December 2024, for a total of 203 school days – four more than in 2023.

Fewer Holidays: There will be 25 days off in 2024, compared to 32 days in 2023 and 33 in 2022. Most public holidays will fall during school holidays.

University Calendar

  • Semester System: Many universities in South Africa follow a semester system, with two semesters per academic year. The specific dates may vary between universities, but the general timeframe is as follows:
    • First Semester: February/March to May/June
    • Second Semester: July/August to October/November
  • Trimester System: Some universities use a trimester system, with three trimesters per year. The dates for each trimester will also vary between universities.

For universities, the start date will vary depending on the specific institution and whether they follow a semester or trimester system. However, most universities will have their first semester or trimester begin sometime between January, February and March.

Important Dates

  • Public Holidays: Several public holidays fall within the academic year, such as Human Rights Day (21 March), Freedom Day (27 April), and Workers’ Day (1 May). These holidays may affect university and school schedules.
  • Assessment Periods: Universities typically have two assessment periods per semester or trimester, with exams and assignments taking place at the end of each period.
  • Registration Deadlines: Students need to be aware of registration deadlines for courses and modules.

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